Devananda meets sea food exporters

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Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda met representatives of the Sri Lanka Seafood Exporters’ Association (SLSFEA) to discuss issues they are currently facing and to provide solutions.

The SLSFEA representatives complained that despite making the payment for fuel in US$ to IOC, they did not receive fuel owing to the delays caused by officials.

The Fisheries Minister pledged that he would take necessary action to resolve this issue in consultation with the Chairman of IOC within next few days.

The second issue brought before Devananda was that even though it is said that a significant number of gas cylinders are distributed to multi-day fishing trawlers, they have not received them properly.

Minister Devananda also instructed Director General of Fisheries Department Susantha Kahawatte to take necessary action to provide the required quantity of gas cylinders to multi-day fishing trawlers through the respective fishery harbours.

Devananda also instructed the representatives of SLSFEA to provide a list fishermen who need gas.

Minister Devananda who contacted MP Nimal Lansa, appointed by President Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Chairman of committee to resolve the gas issue, over the phone requested the latter to take necessary action to supply the required number of gas cylinders to fishermen through the Dikkowita fishery harbour.

The fishermen in Sri Lanka need one million litres of kerosene per day. Steps will be taken to get the required stock by discussing the issue with India as well as Singapore. The discussions being held with Russia to get fuel has reached the final stage. The fuel issue of this country can be resolved soon, Minister Devananda added.

A group of 35 registered fish exporters out of 80, Fisheries Ministry Secretary and Fisheries Department Director General Susantha Kahawatte were present during the meeting with Minister Devananda.

By Naalir Jamaldeen